Travel & Archaeology

Who We Are

A unique brand of tours, lectures and publications

Hidden History Travel

Hidden History Travel first appeared in 1998 when Dr Simon Butler began operating tours to places of archaeological interest in Britain. At that time, it was simply an extension of his work as a professional archaeologist but it was also a wonderful combination of interests which led to a career in heritage tourism.

Fifteen years later, after leading and developing tours throughout Europe, North Africa and the Near-East, Dr Butler has gained a network of long-standing colleagues, both in travel and in archaeology, who are all now contributing to Hidden History Travel’s own unique brand of tours, lectures and publications.

The Team

Some work as agents in their respective countries and have been organising special-interest tours for many years. Others work as professional archaeologists, historians or guides with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.


Dr Simon Butler

Simon’s career began in field archaeology and academic research, and then expanded into heritage tourism. He is now the director of Hidden History Travel. His talks always convey the enrichment and stimulation of archaeology and travel, drawing on his decades of tour research across Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East. He will be happy to help you choose a lecture subject. Based in Birmingham.


Sally Watson

Sally studied archaeology at both Athens and Bristol Universities. She lived in Greece for some years and has taken part in many excavations, including the Minoan port on Santorini, and underwater excavations off Crete. She is a lively speaker who loves to engage the audience. Archaeology is not an exact science and the evidence is often open to interpretation, so she will invite you to explore your own ideas. Based in Bristol.


Dr Barbara Brayshay

Barbara completed her studies with a doctorate in environmental archaeology from the University of Sheffield. Her research interests now extend across prehistoric Europe and the use of geographical information systems and digital mapping for exploring our past and present worlds. Her work is very community oriented and she enjoys engaging with people to make her research relevant to all. Based in Manchester and London.


Dr Christopher Cole

Chris holds a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of York. He specialises in the study of human remains, and currently works for Wessex Archaeology and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust. As well as leading archaeology tours to Mediterranean destinations, Chris has particularly strong research interests in his home area of Romney Marsh on the south coast of England, where he conducts our ‘Fifth continent’ tour.


Dr Martin Locker

Martin’s research interests have focused on medieval pilgrimage, culminating in a PhD from University College London and a growing list of publications and lectures. His knowledge of the medieval world is particularly valued on our East Anglia tour, but Martin has over a decade of experience on a range of excavations and projects. His latest research is focusing on the history and culture of the Pyrenees, where he is currently based, and we are looking forward to new opportunities with him here.


Professor Gary Lock

Gary is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, where he has taught and researched for many years. He specialises in the Iron Age and is particularly interested in hillforts. He has carried out fieldwork in the UK, Spain and Italy, and co-directed the recent 'Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland' project. He has given many talks to local societies and has encouraged much community involvement in his excavations and post-excavation work. Based in Oxford.


Professor Andrew Poulter

Andrew holds a research chair in Late Roman and Early Byzantine archaeology at the University of Birmingham. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, having directed large-scale excavations in Bulgaria for many years. His academic research and tour leading have taken him to many parts of Europe, and he loves to share his prodigious knowledge and experience in lively talks, tours and publications which explore the ancient and early medieval worlds. Based in the Midlands.

To help bring it all together, Dr Butler has also teamed-up with the Travel Trust Association, who provide business support services and a network of trade partners, and who oversee all legal and financial matters. Collectively this team creates an efficient, expert-focused structure which can bring you great products at great prices.

The Vision

Our trading name, Hidden History Travel, reflects the hidden nature of the past and how travel can help us explore the meanings, mysteries and insights behind its ancient ruins, artefacts and various material remains. The fascination of archaeology is due to its hidden nature, its breadth of interest and its connection with so many areas of life; society, culture, science and environment – the list is endless.

This is why archaeological travel is so enriching. It unites culture with adventure and gives real depth of insight into the world and its peoples. An archaeological tour is part of one’s personal journey through space and time, and the interest never ends when the tour ends.

At Hidden History Travel, we want you to share this vision. There will always be new products to develop, new content to add, and new ways of conveying information. We want to remain dynamic so please stay with Hidden History as we develop, and keep us informed of what you think.

We combine travel, archaeology, history and culture to create wonderful holidays and worthwhile experiences.